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Coldest air of the season could break records on Valentine’s Day

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — The coldest air of the season is parked on top of northern Illinois this morning. Temperatures are below zero and wind chills are potentially dangerously cold.

Bitterly cold Valentine's Day:

A wind chill advisory is in effect until 10 a.m. across the Stateline, indicating the potential of wind chills at times to -20°. As of 7 a.m. Friday, temperatures have bottomed out at -10°, breaking an old daily record of -8° set back in 1916. The winter chill is the coldest we've experienced since January 31st of 2019.

Record-breaking cold temperatures are kicking off this Valentine's Day morning.

Valentine's Day features plenty of sunshine as high pressure has settled in. Temperatures should manage to get into the middle teens, but wind chills are expected to hover around 0°. The coldest Valentine's Day high temperature on record in Rockford was set back in 1943, with a high of 10°.

The weekend ahead:

Winter's chill doesn't last terribly long. Highs from Friday to Saturday jump nearly 20°, with forecast temperatures nearing the lower and middle 30s for the weekend. We don't entirely escape the winter-like weather, as snow chances are the playing cards for Saturday.

The weekend in view looks much warmer than where temperatures sit early Friday.

A weak disturbance moves in Saturday afternoon, which could bring a light coating of snow. This should move off quickly by the evening, but it could make for slick travels Saturday afternoon since temperatures are likely to be below freezing.

A light coating of snow is possible during the afternoon hours of Saturday.

Snow tapers off into early Sunday, with clouds giving way to a mix of clouds and sun for the afternoon. Clouds return by the overnight hours Sunday into early Monday, alongside snow chances.

Looking ahead:

Model agreement on snow chances early Monday is there, but it looks like any snow that does fall, should remain light. The other consistency between models lies in transitioning morning snow to afternoon rain as temperatures warm to near 40°. Rain showers are likely to linger through Monday before colder weather begins filtering into the region. As precipitation moves out into the predawn hours of Tuesday, a transition to another round of light snow is possible.

Beyond that, the weather looks to turn much quieter. Temperatures cool off for midweek, but sunny skies return with little potential for wintry precipitation. Looking to the end of the month, the Climate Prediction Center depicts much of the Midwest and Great Lakes with slightly above average temperatures.

The 8 to 14 day outlook show a period of slightly above average temperatures through much of late February.

Justin Ballard

Justin Ballard joined 13 WREX as the weekday morning meteorologist. He’s a proud graduate of UNC-Charlotte and happy to call Rockford home.

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